North America

Tillerson’s Turkey visit: Will it help mend ties?

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US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson visited Turkey twice during his first year in office, but his third trip due next week may well be the most important. Rosiland Jordan Al Jazeera Turkish-US relations were strained during former President Barack Obama‘s tenure. Some observers say they’ve only become worse during President Donald Trump‘s administration – and they fear the NATO allies could clash militarily in Syria. Tillerson’s mission is to reduce the tensions. Like Obama before him, Trump is backing ... Read More »

Trump’s ‘America First’ meets China’s ‘community of common destiny’

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Just as President Donald Trump has reached back into U.S. history to draw inspiration for his “America First” policy from President Andrew Jackson’s mid-19th century populism, so too is Chinese President Xi Jinping reaching back to the Zhou dynasty 3,000 years ago — which lasted longer than the… Nathan Gardels The Washington Post Xi’s idea of a “new era” of global relations based on a “community of common destiny” is drawn from the concept of tianxia — or “all under heaven,” ... Read More »

Panel: Navy and Coast Guard Operating More in a Maritime ‘Grey Zone’

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GULF OF ADEN (Dec. 19, 2011) A visit, board, search and seizure team from the guided missile destroyer USS Pinckney (DDG 91) approaches a suspected pirate vessel after the Motor Vessel Nordic Apollo reported being under attack and fired upon by pirates.  Pinckney is assigned to Combined Task Force 151, a multinational, mission-based task force working under Combined Maritime Forces to conduct counter-piracy operations in the Southern Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Somali Basin, Arabian Sea, and Indian Ocean. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)

SAN DIEGO, Calif. — Between war and peace is the grey zone – a legal status where the rules of engagement aren’t always clear for the Navy and Coast Guard forces increasingly operating there, according to top commanders from the services. By: Ben Werner USNI News The Navy and Coast Guard are tasked with protecting the trade and sovereign interests of both the U.S. friends and allies. But, without a clearly identified mission and clearly articulated and supporting rules of ... Read More »

Winter Olympics 2018: Who is winning the propaganda battle?

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Two unusual guests marked the beginning of the Winter Olympics in South Korea – North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s sister and the father of a US student who died after being jailed in North Korea. BBC Kim Yo-jong and Fred Warmbier are the faces of their respective countries’ propaganda efforts amid tension over North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme. On a day that was supposed to be about sport, their presence was one of many diplomatic subtexts. Pence skips dinner US ... Read More »

Worried About the Stock Market? This Is Just the Beginning.

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The U.S. financial markets will become increasingly volatile as interest rates rise and credit spreads return to something approximating normal Christopher Whalen The National Interest Watching the financial markets gyrate over the past week, it is tempting to wonder if the global economy will ever return to an era when the decisions of private investors are more important than the policies of governments. Since 2008 and even before, central banks have been buying public and private debt and even private ... Read More »

China Reveals Its New Russian Jets Flying Over Secret Military Bases in Pacific

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China has for the first time revealed that its new fleet of advanced, Russia-built jets has flown over the South China Sea, where the U.S. has contested Beijing’s vast territorial claims and construction of artificial, militarized islands. By Tom O’Connor Newsweek The Chinese air force said in a statement Wednesday that it recently deployed Sukhoi Su-35s to carry out a joint patrol over the South China Sea. While the release did not include the size, date or location of the patrol, ... Read More »

The Quiet Diplomacy to Save the Olympics in a Nuclear Standoff

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BEIJING — In late December, a group of teenagers from North Korea traveled to the Chinese city of Kunming to play in an obscure under-15 soccer tournament. By JANE PERLEZ, CHOE SANG-HUN and REBECCA R. RUIZ The New York Times On the field, under a wintry sun, they faced teams from China and South Korea. Off the field, there was an unusual spectator: Choi Moon-soon, the governor of the province in South Korea hosting the Winter Olympics. Mr. Choi had flown more than 1,000 ... Read More »

Rules to ban sex between politicians and staff suggested by independent MP Cathy McGowan

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A ban on sex between politicians and their staff is being suggested by independent Federal MP Cathy McGowan. By political correspondent Louise Yaxley ABC Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has insisted on his right to privacy over his relationship with a former staff member who is now expecting his baby. But his situation has prompted a debate about the appropriateness of relationships between politicians and their staff. “Good workplace practice includes clear expectations about behaviour,” Ms McGowan said. She noted ... Read More »

Julian Assange loses challenge to UK arrest warrant, court to rule on new bid next week

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Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has lost one legal bid to have a UK arrest warrant against him quashed but immediately launched another, to have the British authorities halt any action against him on public interest grounds. ABC Judge Emma Arbuthnot said she would give her decision on February 13. A ruling in Mr Assange’s favour could pave the way for him to leave the Ecuadorean embassy in London where he has been holed up for more than five years. Mr ... Read More »

What Wall Street’s Ups and Downs Look Like

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Americans have pictured the stock market the exact same way for generations Photographs and Text by Sam Hodgson The New York Times Men in blue jackets scamper across a trading room floor at the New York Stock Exchange, alternatively delighted or despondent, following rises and falls of geopolitical turmoil, the specter of regulation or, perhaps, the whims of other investors. Most trading these days does not happen on the floor of the exchange. The majority are the result of selections ... Read More »

You are no longer the product

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Dutch news site De Correspondent represents a radical challenge to traditional journalistic practice. Now, it’s about to launch in the United States Tom Greenwell Inside Story But I’m stubborn as those garbage bags that Time cannot decay, I’m junk but I’m still holding up this little wild bouquet: Democracy is coming to the USA. — Leonard Cohen Almost a decade ago, Princeton’s professor of communications and public affairs Paul Starr wrote an essay in the New Republic entitled “Goodbye to ... Read More »

The Absurdity of the New ‘Great Game’ in Central Asia

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Geopolitics are not a good rationale for continuing the U.S. war in Afghanistan Lyle J. Goldstein The National Interest When the American people went to the polls in November 2016, they could be forgiven for thinking they had elected a president who might just bring the troops home from Afghanistan. After nearly seventeen years of grinding war in that poor, desolate and ultimately insignificant country, it seemed that Americans had finally had enough. However, in a classic symptom of what ails the ... Read More »

The State Department Just Lost Its Most Experienced Leader

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Tom Shannon’s departure leaves just one career ambassador at the beleaguered agency. Krishnadev Calamur The Atlantic Tom Shannon is an increasingly rare kind of public servant in Washington—a career diplomat who served administrations of both parties, starting with the Reagan administration, and one of only two people currently at the State Department to have achieved the title of “career ambassador.” (There were five when Obama left office.) “I have had the honor of serving under six presidents and ten secretaries ... Read More »

Anti-Abortion Democrat Loses Key Support To Progressive Challenger

UNITED STATES - JANUARY 17: Marie Newman, candidate for Congress in IL-03, speaks to reporters after receiving the endorsement of Reps. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., and Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., in Washington on Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Marie Newman’s campaign against Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.) is getting a big boost from EMILY’s List By Daniel Marans HuffPost EMILY’s List, the fundraising group that backs pro-abortion rights Democratic women, on Friday endorsed Illinois progressive Marie Newman’s campaign against Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.), one of the last anti-abortion Democrats in Congress. Support from EMILY’s List, a fundraising powerhouse closely aligned with Democratic Party leadership, gives Newman a major boost in her effort to unseat Lipinski in the March 20 ... Read More »

South Sudan: US bans arms sales and urges others to follow

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The United States has banned the export of weapons to South Sudan and has urged other nations and the UN to adopt a global arms embargo BBC It is a largely symbolic move, as the US does not export arms to South Sudan. But the move prevents any US company or citizen from offering defence services to the country. The US has expressed frustration with the failure of South Sudanese leaders to put an end to the country’s four-year civil ... Read More »

How Canada is inspiring Scandinavian countries on immigration

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As a wave of “Scandimania” sweeps the world, Canada is serving as an inspiration for Scandinavian countries dealing with the challenges of increased immigration and ethnic diversity. Trygve Ugland The Conversation Scandinavia has, for a long time, been portrayed as a model for other countries. The international fascination with Scandinavia derives from a broadly shared impression that Denmark, Norway and Sweden have successfully combined private capitalism and economic growth, on the one hand, with state intervention and social equity on ... Read More »